Monday, December 04, 2006

Snowy Owls!




Man, when I get the birding bug, I really get it. After a very full Spring of almost daily trips near and far throughout eastern Massachusetts, I went several months with only a trip or two every few weeks plus some incidental roadside and vacation birdwatching (thus missing the heights of the fall shorebird, sparrow and raptor migrations). But with the end of the year approaching, it got into my head to see if I could bolster my list to 200 species seen in Massachusetts this year, and I've been out nearly every day for over a week. Though I haven't really done the job I need to if I want to add species - there are rarities to be chased down on Cape Cod, and a full swing through Cape Ann might turn some things up, but alas, I have to work and there have been other (albeit enjoyable) commitments preventing me from going at it full time on the weekends. And now it's snowing! (Plus laundry, library, clean room and kitchen, practice violin, rehearsal, grocery shopping...) But I just can't get the birdies off my mind, have several guides by my bedside that I am leafing through idly.

I should go chase the Bell's Vireo down in Falmouth, but...an hour and a half drive each way, an unknown location and unclear directions, a possibly several hour wait with no guarantee of success for one bird, well...I'm just not up to it today. Not without company. Too much driving. Why does that make me feel guilty? Less than dedicated? To those birders who might be reading this whose perseverence stretches beyond my own: my apologies.

In compensation, here are two photographs of the Snowy Owl that I saw yesterday at the Salisbury Reservation on the northern mouth of the Merrimack River. My friend Anne has a sixth sense for these wonderful birds and spotted it on a dumpster as we were leaving the park. It soon flew (the first time I've ever seen a snowy fly in ten-plus sightings!) and perched for several minutes on the maintenance building where we got some pictures. Otherwise, it was quiet at Salisbury, but a few nice birds were about - Long-tailed Ducks, Eider, Common and Red-throated loon, Red-Breasted Mergansers...the short-eared owls hadn't arrived yet.

Did I mention that it's snowing?

1 comment:

esmelouise said...

Wow my gosh those are beautiful snowy owls. Love, Esme